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The forgotten act of worship
- Jacob Ninan
It's sad that nowadays worship has become synonymous with singing, accompanied with music with a pulsating beat, electronic and smoke effects, waving of hands and high energy movements on stage. The power of the amplifiers and the finesse of mixing sounds decide the output, and large sized video displays make it possible for people in every part of the auditorium to taste the excitement. Training in leading worship has become common, and a certificate from a famous group is sufficient to catapult youngsters to become worship leaders overnight. 'Soul stirring' performances get applauses and wild responses as if people were attending a concert by the rock stars currently in vogue.
Many in the audience have just come to be there at the concert. Music aficionados evaluate the blending of the sounds and the harmony of the singers with the instruments down to the beat. They give marks to the singers and the musicians individually and as a team. Many others in the audience are watching the gyrations of the music team on the stage rather than the lyrics that are flashed on the screen.
Some songs make no mention of God or Jesus, and they could very well have been love songs people sing to one another. Many of the singers and musicians themselves do not have any relationship with God, but they are into this because of their love of music. What anointing can they bring to the listeners? They are not thinking of honouring God but only in performing well for the sake of their own satisfaction or impressing others.
Because of the occasion and the place where it is taking place, it is possible for those who want, to think of God. But many in the audience are not joining in the songs from their side even as they enjoy the performance from the stage.
Whatever happened to praise and worship in this 'time of praise and worship'?
Worship may be defined as a profound sense of love and admiration towards someone, in this case, God. As the music team leads, this is what everyone is supposed to express. As we worship God with songs and words from the heart, it is an opportunity to express our gratitude and love for Him who has given Himself for us. That will result in recommitting ourselves to Him (Ro.12:1). It is not in the perfection of the music performance that our worship lies, but what God sees in our heart (Jn.4:23,24). God is not interested in receiving our worship for His own sake, but because it strengthens our relationship and re-establishes our relative positions. He can minister to us as we worship Him (Ac.13:2), revealing to us traits of His nature which we have not known till then (Jn.17:24;14:21).
Satan has managed to counterfeit worship towards God as he has done in various other aspects of life. But let's see through his schemes and get back to the worship which God deserves, in truth and spirit. Let's use the time of worship to get closer to Him, giving ourselves to Him and hearing what He has to say.